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Her mother Sharmila Tagore is Rabindranath Tagore’s great grand niece. Now Soha Ali Khan will get a chance to connect with her famous ancestor in Chaarfutiya Chhokare. Soha plays the role of an NRI, who gets caught in a web of crime following her efforts to educate three street kids.
The actor has been approached to sing a Tagore prayer song that’s been adapted for the film. “Since it’s about how education can change lives, we’ve adapted ‘Aguner parasmoni’ in Hindi as ‘Vidya ki parasmani’,” says producer Vibha Dutta Khosla. Soha’s thrilled with the offer that’s come, incidentally, in the Nobel laureate’s 150th birth-anniversary year. She recalls, “Our apartment in Kolkata was full of Bengalis singing Rabindra Sangeet. My mother would translate the songs for us in English. I remember ‘Aguner parasmoni’ was about spreading light through knowledge and spiritualism illuminating the soul. Music like this is relevant even in the 21th century.”
Amitabh Bachchan recently rendered Tagore’s ‘Ekla cholo re’ for Kahaani. Soha’s all praise for Bachchan’s voice and knowledge of Bengali.
“He did a great service by taking Tagore to the rest of India. But given my lack of classical training, I don’t know if I can sing the whole song,” she says. “Bengalis are proud of Gurdudev, and they’ve showered me with love for my lineage. I’m not the greatest singer and I wouldn’t want to let them down. I will give it a try. Hopefully, I’ll manage at least a couple of lines.”
Shooting for the film starts mid-July in a village near Lucknow. Two of the three 12-year-old street kids — Shankar Mandal and Saurabh Puri — in the film are actually from the Goregaon slums. Harsh Mayar, who starred in I Am Kalam (2010), is also part of the movie.